'His legacy will live on': World leaders pay tribute to Prince Philip

9 April 2021, 21:00 | Updated: 10 April 2021, 00:42

Prince Philip has died aged 99
Prince Philip has died aged 99. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Leaders past and present from across the world have paid tribute to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who has died at the age of 99.

US president Joe Biden said he and wife Jill were keeping the Queen and her family "in our hearts".

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He said of Philip: "The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the armed forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more.

"His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavours he shaped."

As tributes pour in from around the world following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, tune in live to LBC's special coverage. Listen live on Global Player.

The president of Greece, where Philip was born almost 100 years ago, shared a photo of him as a young boy dressed as an Evzone guard.

The Prince of Wales gave a framed copy of the photograph to the presidential guards in Athens just over a fortnight ago.

President Katerina Sakellaropoulou tweeted: "The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who was born in Corfu, served his country with devotion for many decades."

Irish president Michael D Higgins said: "For over 60 years, and as husband to Britain's longest serving monarch, Prince Philip served the British people with an unfailing commitment and devotion to duty.

"In the course of his long service he frequently brought an air of informality to otherwise formal occasions.

"His distinctive presence and unique sense of humour put participants at ease and always engaged those who encountered him."

French president Emmanuel Macron said the duke "lived an exemplary life defined by bravery, a sense of duty and commitment to the youth and the environment".

Barack Obama recounted how he and wife Michelle were apprehensive of the "palaces and pomp" when they visited during his time as US president, but that the Queen and Philip put them "at ease with their grace and generosity".

"Prince Philip in particular was kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humour. It was our first introduction to the man behind the title, and in the years since, our admiration for him has only grown. We will miss him dearly," Mr Obama added.

His successor Donald Trump said Philip's death is "an irreplaceable loss for Great Britain, and for all who hold dear our civilisation".

He said the duke "defined British dignity and grace" and "personified the quiet reserve, stern fortitude, and unbending integrity of the United Kingdom".

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi recalled Philip's "distinguished career in the military" and work "at the forefront of many community service initiatives".

Along with Mr Modi, other leaders of Commonwealth nations marked the duke's death.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said in a statement that he "embodied a generation that we will never see again".

"The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia," he added.

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Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau described him as a "man of great purpose and conviction".

"Prince Philip contributed so much to the social fabric of our country - and the world," he said in a tweet.

Royals across the world also paid tribute, with the Dutch royal family sending its "heartfelt sympathy" to the Queen.

The official Twitter account of the Royal House of the Netherlands posted a message from King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix.

They said: "Throughout his long life, he committed himself with dedication to the British people and to his many duties and responsibilities.

"His lively personality never ceased to leave an unforgettable impression."

The Belgian Royal Palace has said they are "deeply saddened" by the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, tweeting a tribute along with photos of the family with Philip.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden said in a statement: "Prince Philip has been a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued.

"His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all."

Elsewhere, Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the duke would be "missed in Israel and across the world".

He wrote on Twitter: "Prince Philip was the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world."

The Kremlin said Russian president Vladimir Putin sent the Queen a message to convey his condolences.

"Many important events in the contemporary history of your country are connected with the name of His Royal Highness. He has rightfully enjoyed the respect of the British nation as well as international recognition," the note said.